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‘I Thought I Was Coming Home At 14′, Porter Says Of Steelers’ 1st-Round Trade

Jalen Carter was so sure he would be a top-10 pick that he and his agent decided they would not bother to take visits with any team drafting outside of the top 10 or with any intention of moving inside of the top 10 to get him. He was probably sweating as the selections ticked by. The Philadelphia Eagles ended up moving up to nine to get him, but it’s a reminder that what you’re told by the media and even your own agents about your prospects isn’t gospel.

It’s impossible for anybody, anywhere, to have all the information to know how things are going to play out. The information has to come from 32 different sources, most of whom will not work together at all, and many of whom may even actively engage in subterfuge.

That’s why we had four players sitting in the green room during the first round who weren’t taken. That includes Joey Porter Jr., who did end up going at the top of the first round. But it had to hurt, having said himself that what he was told was his range was anywhere between 7 and 17. He fell nearly twice as far. And while he still ended up where he probably thought he would be going, it wasn’t when he thought.

I thought I was coming home at 14. I was like, ‘Okay, this is the jump’”, he said via the team’s website, referring to the Steelers’ decision to move up from 17 to 14, only they used that move to draft offensive tackle Broderick Jones instead of the cornerback. One of the reasons he thought it was him was because of what he’d heard were the needs of other teams in that area.

“I heard talks about Patriots, it was all kinds of stuff on the news and social media about where I was going, where everybody was going”, he said, “so when they made that trade I was like, ‘I could possibly be going home right here’. And then they did their pick and…it is what it is”.

Porter admitted that the slide left a chip on his shoulder and added more fuel to the fire to prove himself, though I’m sure most players who get drafted later than they expected could say the same things about their feelings.

But there’s no harm in bringing a player in who is extra motivated. And he said that he spoke to head coach Mike Tomlin, who said that, of course, it was purely a business decision to go with the tackle ahead of the cornerback. After all, there were several high-end cornerbacks still on the board. Jones was the last tackle considered in the top tier in this class.

A good way for Porter to show that he is properly motivated would be to come in right away and earn a starting job. Which the Steelers very much expect him to have a good shot at accomplishing. Patrick Peterson is here as one starter, but the other side has Levi Wallace as the most likely starting candidate and he began last season as a reserve.

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